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What is the difference between the Collagen Powder & Gelatin

Feb 07, 2018

1. What is Collagen?

Gelatin and collagen are two proteins that are commonly associated with health benefits such as healing leaky gut, preventing wrinkles, improving digestion, and reducing joint pain.


Oftentimes, you may see gelatin and collagen used interchangeably. But while they come from the same sources— bones, skin and tissue— they’re not the same thing.


Gelatin Vs. Collagen: Similar, But Different

collagen is found in bones and tissue. Since it’s too tough to eat tendons or ligaments, these parts must be cooked down using a process called partial hydrolysis, to make the collagen digestible. The hydrolyzing and drying of the bones and tissue is what forms gelatin powder. In other words, gelatin is the cooked form of collagen.


Making bone broth is one of the most delicious ways to get more collagen and gelatin into your diet. By simmering bones and tissue in water with other aromatics for 20 to 24 hours, the collagen and gelatin get released from the bones and make their way into your tasty soup.


When it comes to collagen supplements, you may have heard of hydrolyzed collagen or collagen peptides. This form of collagen is simply gelatin that has been more aggressively processed through hydrolysis to form smaller proteins, which can be easily digested and absorbed by the body.


Simply put, the differences between collagen and gelatin come down to how they’re processed. The processing method is what gives collagen and gelatin different textures, unique health benefits, and allows them to be therapeutic in different ways.


The Similarity and Difference Between Gelatatin and Collagen



2. Key Health Benefits of Gelatin


Gut Repair


When collagen is boiled, partially hydrolyzed, and dried to form gelatin, it turns into a brittle, dry powder. But when mixed with hot liquids, it dissolves into a gel-like substance (hence the name gelatin). If you’ve eaten Jello before, you’ve had gelatin.


The gelatinous texture of gelatin is what makes it useful as a thickener in your recipes (such as homemade gravies, vitamin gummy bears, and soups). The gel-like texture also determines how it’s digested and absorbed by your body, which can influence certain aspects of your health —  from blood sugar balance to intestinal repair.


Blood Sugar Balance


Picture gelatin as a thick, goopy gel when it’s being digested and absorbed in your intestinal tract. It moves sluggishly and is slower to digest, which is why it’s said to help soothe and coat the gut lining.


Since gelatin is 30% glycine, it’s one of the richest sources of glycine on the planet. Glycine has been shown to improve gut health by repairing the intestinal wall, and sealing the gut lining — which is essential for healing leaky gut syndrome and the autoimmune conditions that stem from leaky gut, such as rheumatoid arthritis and allergies .


The benefits of gelatin for healing the GI tract also make it one of the top foods to eat on the GAPS diet, which is a gut health protocol designed to help repair the gut lining and heal digestive symptoms, leaky gut syndrome and autoimmune diseases.


One study showed that when gelatin was consumed with sugar, it reduced the glucose response by nearly 50%. This suggests that gelatin is an effective protein for reducing blood sugar spikes and crashes when consumed with high carb meals. Therefore, gelatin may also be helpful for managing and improving type 2 diabetes and other blood sugar imbalances.


It’s possible that the slow digestion and absorption rate of gelatin is one factor that allows it to reduce insulin spikes, but the study specifically mentions the high glycine content in gelatin for reducing the glucose response. Since collagen peptides also contain glycine, it’s possible they may have a similar effect.

 Digestive Health

Gelatin may improve bowel regularity, and relieve bloating and constipation. Its gel-like texture absorbs water and helps keep fluid in the intestinal tract, which is needed to promote healthy and regular bowel movements.


Gelatin has also been shown to increase gastric acid (stomach acid) production, which improves digestion and nutrient absorption.

 Side Effects of Gelatin

Some may experience digestive symptoms such as gas, bloating, and heartburn when first adding gelatin to their diets, or from eating too much. This is because the larger molecules of gelatin are ‘heavier’ and can be harder to digest.


To avoid these symptoms, it’s best to start with a small serving size of gelatin (such as 1 teaspoon) and gradually increase to 1 to 11/2  tablespoons.


Summary of Gelatin Vs. Collagen Health Benefits


The Many Reasons Collagen is Awesome

Here’s the thing… all of those beauty products that contain collagen won’t do much for your skin. This is because collagen molecules are too big to be absorbed through the skin. That doesn’t mean collagen isn’t really beneficial though, just that we have to get it from the inside out.

Collagen  are naturally found in high quality broth and in cuts of meat that contain skin or bone. If you’ve ever made bone broth and had it “gel” when it cooled, this is due to the gelatin and collagen naturally present in the bones.

The particular amino acids in collagen are said to be especially beneficial in the body for:

·Supporting hair, skin and nails

·For joint health

·To encourage skin elasticity and reduce the signs of aging

·Improving digestion

·As a protein source

Gelatin and collagen contain 6 grams of protein per tablespoon and are relatively odorless and tasteless, making them easy to mix into warm drinks, smoothies, or recipes.

So, should you use collagen peptides or gelatin?By their differences, so you can decide which one is best for you.